2012 New York Times - Cultural Pilgrimages - Sami Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Emelie is currently sleeping across my lap on a pillow as I knock through my deadline list. The last few weeks have brought in a record flood of assignments which I’m grateful to God for; especially in this industry known for its famine and feast periods. Been juggling deadlines while attending to a smart infant who has quickly realized what a laptop is and cries whenever mommy tries to boot it up.

Okay?? Why aren’t you on maternity leave?” You might ask.

Well, my husband is on paternity leave.

Six months to start with, and according to Swedish law, he still gets a decent percentage of his pay. After these six months, we still have a year’s worth of parental leave to share between ourselves. Again, one of the reasons I’m grateful for taking that 50% pay cut from my old life to lead a more flexible one here in Sweden, albeit with higher taxes and a modified budget since I don’t make “software developer” money anymore, and now make “artist” money.

Once he goes back to work, I’ll start a 50% work, 50% maternity leave arrangement until he takes out more paternity leave.

Latest News

Here are some recent articles and photography publications:

Business InsiderTake a look at the world’s strangest desserts (Reprint)
New York MagazineGo Retro in Sweden
New York Times (NYT) Magazine – Photo selection under Cultural Pilgrimages (Also congrats to fellow photographer Lily Girma whose photo got selected as well).
Sweden’s ImagebankStock photography

Upcoming assignments: BBC Travel/Lonely Planet (multiple), Thai Airways (large feature), Qatar Airways (multiple), The Daily (multiple), National Geographic Traveller (double page photo), Sweden.se (multiple)

Had a productive meeting with VisitStockholm this week and hope to work with them on some ideas. I’m about to start developing a Sweden App in collaboration with Sutro Media which I’m pretty stoked about it. Also updated the portfolio with new awards as well as recent interviews.

What this all means?

I’ve got a backlog of RSS posts from favorite bloggers I still need to catch up on. Also, I’m seriously considering bringing someone onboard (a paid intern) to help out with some of my business activities. Right now, I’m still trying to figure out the best areas for them to cover (social media, fact checking, my comic Office Supplies, etc).

Once I’ve got it all sorted out, I’ll make an announcement.

  • Wait a second…did you just add the “What this all means” to this post? I missed it when I earlier read this post.
    Hire me! Lol. I am serious. I live in America though. Oh well!

  • Congrats again Lola!! And thanks for the shout-out, very sweet of you!! 🙂

  • @Eva – Thanks! Paternity leave is definitely worth the significant pay cut.

    @Ify – Thanks so much. It really is all about going with the flow, its dips and rises, and all in between. Hope you’re doing wonderful.

    @Candace – Thanks 🙂

    @Paulo – Hey bro! Berlin 2012, okay?

    @Perlina – Javisst! Att få pappaledig är en stört fördel att bo i Sverige. Tack så mycket för din stöd!

    @JoAnna – Long time! Hope you’re doing wonderful. Thanks! We freelancers just have to grab work as it comes and put as much stuff aside like squirrels until the next time.

  • I’m looking forward to the day when I can hire someone to handle business-related duties. They really clog up my day.

    Congrats on all the new assignments!

  • perlina

    That’s one of the reason i love sweden, Paternity leave. Amazing !!!! In France the mother goes back to work when the baby is 3 months and my sister told me 15 days for the father and before it was 3 days. !!!!
    Grattis, grattis, dina bilder är fantastiska. Inte Bara dina bilder. Du har gjort ett fantastisk jobb. ))

  • paulo

    you go girl! glad it’s all working out for you. chat soon and hugs to the fam.

  • Congratulations, Lola! Your photographs from the Sami festival are so vibrant and evocative–wonderful to see them in print again.

  • Ify

    Thanks for the update. Sounds like a very busy time. So excited to see how things are unfolding for you. Love how you roll with it and shift gears as you need to. Best to you, hubs, & Emelie!

  • Eva

    Congrats, Lola! Sounds busy and great. Hurray for pat leave…